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No room for error - What Alex Holland and I have in common

Updated: May 2, 2019

Bringing Into Focus the Property and Casualty Protection Gaps in the Financial Planning Process and How to Eliminate Them, by David Shaffer, ARM, CPRIA, Agency Principal


What does this picture of one of the most beautiful spots on our planet, Yosemite Valley, have to do with the type of Financial Planning work I do in the area of Risk Management and Insurance?


Alex Holland, from Sacramento, CA on June 3, 2017 was the first Free Solo climber in human history, and he may end up being the only one ever in human history, to ever climb El Capitan free solo. Climbing free solo means no ropes or any protective gear is attached as you climb! Even as you read this blog, he is still the only free solo climber to ever accomplish this incredible feat, and in world record time he made it from the bottom of El Capitan to the the top, without one mistake, which would have been fatal.


Literally, there was no room for error. Imagine Alex just with his ten fingers and two feet clinging onto the sheer face of El Capitan as he ascended and not having a single rope attached to him! If he made just one mistake and lost his grip, it would have cost him his life. There was no room for error! If you haven't since the movie documentary, Free Solo, which is about this incredible feat, I highly recommend you watch it. Someone I was encouraging to see the movie told me, "I just don't think I can watch him doing this!" I reminded him that the movie has a very good ending, he made it, so you don't have to worry about watching him fall to his certain death.


The way I approach my professional work is like how Alex approached his incredible feat up the face of El Capitan, there is no room for error!


I really care about my clients who depend upon me to "get it right" and to have the appropriate property and casualty insurance coverage on their, auto, homeowners, earthquake, umbrella and related policies, so if the unexpected happens, and it takes just one unexpected catastrophic financial event in your lifetime, such as a fire, an earthquake, a flood or a legal judgment, they won't find out when it is too late there is a Protection Gap in their insurance.


Your financial planning clients depend upon you to make no mistakes as well, don't they?


In the Financial Planning process, many financial planners including CFP's, don't do a very thorough job in this area of financial planning, in particular, Property and Casualty Insurance, because they can't be an expert in all areas of financial planning. Part of the obligation of a CFP to their clients is to have valuable resources to give them in those areas of financial planning where they lack expertise to make sure it is handled properly.


How would you feel after all the years or decades of hard work to help your clients accumulate an adequate amount of money for college education, retirement, special needs, if failure to focus on this area of the financial planning process, Insurance and Risk Management and, in particular, Property and Casualty Insurance, if one unexpected event such as a fire that burns a house down completely, like in the last two catastrophic wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, an earthquake that the USGS is predicting could happen at any moment in the next 30 years along the Hayward Fault, the most dangerous fault in the world according to the USGS, or a flood or a legal judgment that is either uninsured or under-insured causes the redirection of hundreds of thousands or even over a million dollars for other than its intended purpose which was avoidable? Probably not very good.


Please click on the link above to read my informative article to help you learn what is a protection gap, the power of your insurance premium dollars, and examples in auto, homeowners, earthquake and umbrella coverage of the most common serious Protection Gaps I constantly find when I conduct a "comprehensive insurance review", which is different than just providing a quote, and how to eliminate them.


I hope you will find this article very informative. When you realize you really need to pay attention to these Protection Gaps, that with carefully planning are avoidable, I hope you will contact me to benefit from my 40 years of insurance industry experience to help you personally for your own auto, homeowners, earthquake and umbrella liability needs, or how one of your clients can benefit as well, to see how I focus in on the existing Protection Gaps and how to eliminate them. Like Alex Holland, the way I look at my professional work, there is no room for error! Thank you.


Valley View of the Yosemite Valley I took in 2015



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